After losing in the third round of the Sinquefield Cup to Hans Niemann, Magnus Carlsen left the tournament the next day and commented that he preferred not to talk because he would get into trouble, using a gif of Jose Mourinho. A few days later in an online tournament, the Champions Chess Tour, he left after making a move in a game also with Hans Niemann and in a later interview commented that he would make an announcement soon. Well, we already have a statement, and it is a very harsh statement in which he directly accuses Hans Niemann of cheating.
Behind this announcement there are some people who do not agree with his way of acting and call him a crying child. Perhaps he is not a crying child, but rather a person of integrity who does not like to lose, but of course, no one likes to lose chess. However, we are all taught that losing is one of the possible outcomes of a game. In this article I share the latest news of this earthquake that is shaking chess.
Magnus has serious doubts about Niemann’s game
In the statement Magnus confesses that he is frustrated. When it became known that Hans Niemann was going to be GM Richard Rapport’s replacement in the Sinquefield Cup, he expressed his displeasure that he did not feel like playing with someone who had cheated in the past, but in the end, he agreed to participate in the event.
The problem and trigger of all subsequent events occurred in the third round of the Sinquefield Cup where he played precisely with Hans Niemann. In an unprecedented match, the World Chess Champion was totally defeated by a much lower player in elo ranking.
His statement in summary says that:
- Magnus believes that Niemann has recently cheated in chess on the board.
- He believes Niemann cheated on his departure from St Louis.
- He does not understand Niemann’s lack of concentration on critical positions of their game from St Louis.
- He has no intention of playing Against Niemann again in the future.
- He wants to talk more, but he needs Niemann’s permission, which is very strange.
Lack of evidence on how Hans cheats
Magnus does not provide any evidence on how Hans Niemann cheats. Only his intuition and Hans’s own words that he acknowledged cheating in the past. He made those traps by playing chess online on the chess.com platform, when he was 12 and 16 years old.
In a statement on 9 September one of the chess.com officers, MI Danny Rensch commented on behalf of Chess.com: “We have shared with Magnus detailed evidence about our decision (the decision to ban Hans twice for cheating), including information that contradicts his statements about the amount and severity of his traps in Chess.com. “.
A former player over 2800 elo told IM Yosha Iglesias that he had played a game with 100% accuracy, a game with 97% accuracy and a few more games over 85% accuracy. In three years, Niemann has played ten games with 100% and twenty-three with more than 90% accuracy. Accuracy in chess is measured based on the move a player makes versus the move recommended by a chess module.
Other chess grandmasters share their doubts about Hans Niemann
And this whole thing, this #chessdrama, is shaking the chess world. There are many chess figures who have serious doubts, although none provide any proof. Fabiano Caruana who analyzed Hans Niemann’s games through a chess program commented in a recent podcast (video 1) “Playing the first line [of the computer] in any kind of complicated move, which is not a 12-move tie, is weird. “. In addition, Fabiano Caruana talks about a match between Niemann against Gretarsson of the 2022 Reykjavík Open tournament]: “This match for me is quite extraordinary. It is the game of a genius or something suspicious. It is one of the two… “.
Ian Nepomniachtchi also expressed concern about Hans Niemann to St Louis organisers and called for additional measures against cheating once he learned the 19-year-old American would play in the event. The World Championship challenger says he didn’t like knowing hans Niemann would play in the Sinquefield Cup. Ian Nepomniachtchi shares his impressions in an extensive one-hour video (video 2) on his YouTube channel.
The statement in text:
Dear Chess World,
At the 2022 Sinquefield Cup, I made the unprecedented professional decision to withdraw from the tournament after my round three game against Hans Niemann. A week later during the Champions Chess Tour, I resigned against Hans Niemann after playing only one move.
I know that my actions have frustrated many in the chess community. I’m frustrated. I want to play chess. I want to continue to play chess at the highest level in the best events.
I believe that cheating in chess is a big deal and an existential threat to the game. I also believe that chess organizers and all those who care about the sanctity of the game we love should seriously consider increasing security measures and methods of cheat detection for over the board chess. When Niemann was invited last minute to the 2022 Sinquefield Cup, I strongly considered withdrawing prior to the event. I ultimately chose to play.
I believe that Niemann has cheated more — and more recently — than he has publicly admitted. His over the board progress has been unusual, and throughout our game in the Sinquefield Cup I had the impression that he wasn’t tense or even fully concentrating on the game in critical positions, while outplaying me as black in a way I think only a handful of players can do. This game contributed to changing my perspective.
We must do something about cheating, and for my part going forward, I don’t want to play against people that have cheated repeatedly in the past, because I don’t know what they are capable of doing in the future.
There is more that I would like to say. Unfortunately, at this time I am limited in what I can say without explicit permission from Niemann to speak openly. So far I have only been able to speak with my actions, and those actions have stated clearly that I am not willing to play chess with Niemann. I hope that the truth on this matter comes out, whatever it may be.
Magnus Carlsen – World Chess Champion
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